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Save Navarre Beach Marine Park From Development

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A development company is planning to build a hotel complex on a 5.74-acre privately owned parcel in the MIDDLE the county-owned Navarre Beach Marine Park!  The parcel is currently zoned commercial which would allow a marina to be built but developers want to construct a restaurant, RVs, kayak rentals and a hotel located in the MIDDLE of the four pavilions in Navarre Beach Marine Park east of Navarre bridge on the barrier island.

However, they will need a lease amendment to allow construction of a facility other than a three-story 50-foot by 200-foot metal dry-storage marina, which was drawn into the 50-year lease.  This will need to be approved by Santa Rosa Board of Commissioners.

Several years ago concerned citizens created the Navarre Beach Master Plan to protect Navarre Beach’s fragile barrier island from over development in certain areas that needed special consideration. The Navarre Beach Marine Park is certainly an area that continues to need that special protection from residential development. The Master Plan was designed to protect the coastal barrier system and is compatible with both human population and shorebird nesting areas for our black skimmers, least terns, plovers and other habitat.

The Black Skimmers (a State Species of Special Concern) teach their young to fish in this area and Least Terns and Plovers nest in this area. Florida Fish and Wildlife have been contacted and while a hotel would not be illegal, they would have an impact on the birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  The infrastructure is not capable of handling sewer, drainage and water for a hotel building in this area.  In addition, a hotel, rentals of kayaks, paddle boards and RVs in the middle of this pristine, peaceful setting will ruin the mood of this Navarre treasure. The park is zoned as a public park for recreation and conservation for humans, shorebirds and other habitat and should remain as such. The potential tax revenues should not influence this decision.  The western section of Navarre Beach allows for limited development and is zoned for low residential and high density buildings which is much more suitable for this type of venture.

We are very much opposed to this development WITHIN the Navarre Beach Marine Park because of the unfavorable impacts it will create. This proposed development should never be allowed in the Navarre Beach Marine Park. NEVER!  Listen to the people, not the almighty dollar!!


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